(Webster’s definition: Cooperative: willing to work with others.)
Parents who are eager to foster cooperation between themselves, with their children & other caregivers will only succeed if done so willingly. By this I mean, all people, big & small, NEED to be made to feel appreciated, capable, respected & genuinely helpful.
Children & adults share the same desire to work collaboratively - only when their thoughts, feelings & opinions matter & when they can participate in the decision-making & problem-solving process.
Co-Parenting refers to the collective group of adults responsible for raising & caring for a child on a regular basis. This may include mothers, fathers, grandparents, extended family members, nannies, even teachers, coaches, & the media, to some degree.
Consider the following questions:
Who decides what is best for a child? Who or what influences the parenting decisions you make?
How is your child affected by the multiple, sometimes inconsistent messages they receive daily?
Have you ever felt like your authority is “weak” & the “other” parent holds all the power?
If you asked your son/daughter who is the “boss” in your home, what would they say? Why do you think this is the case? Have you created this situation unknowingly?
How often do you discuss issues relating to your child, such as friends, school, behavior, physical/emotional development, setting limits, discipline, nutrition, chores and so on with spouse?
Is it okay to disagree on child rearing practices? How do you usually handle this type of conflict?
Why is it important for kids to live with consistency, continuity & clarity when it comes to rules, routines, expectations & behavior?
Wouldn’t it be beneficial for everyone involved in raising your child to make the time to discuss important issues, share multiple perspectives, observations & ideas about parenting – without criticism & judgment – in the best interest of your child’s well-being at heart?!
Communication is KEY! Listening to one another is KEY! Open-mind thinking is KEY!
Parenting cooperatively is essential for modeling productive, healthy, loving relationships for your children. Learn to break the cycles from previous generations. Dysfunctional attitudes & behavior may prevent you from trusting your own instincts, creating unique family values & traditions, while honoring your spouse & kids today. Work together, encourage & support each other in your genuine efforts to make lasting changes, achieve harmony & aspire to parent from the heart!